Biography of Maj. Charles Galloway

Maj. Charles Galloway
Maj. Charles Galloway

In the veins of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch flows sterling Scotch blood, for his paternal grandfather, James Galloway, was born in the land of ” thistles and oatmeal,” of Scotch parents. He immigrated to this country from the land of his birth in early manhood and later settled in the district known as the old Crab Orchard, Kentucky He was the founder of the family in this country, and eventually passed from life in Knox County, Tennessee He was one of the pioneers of that State, was active in its development, and took part in a number of engagements with the Indians, when his home and that of his neighbors was threatened. Politically he is a Democrat. He reared a family of four sons and five daughters, Jesse Galloway, the father of the subject of this sketch, being one of the former and a native of the “dark and bloody ground.” He was taken to Tennessee when quite small, and after residing there until about sixty years of age he removed to Indiana, and in 1839 became a resident of Barry County, Missouri, of which place he was a resident until his death ten years later. Like his father before him he was a Democrat, and also like him he was active in assisting in the settlement of his section, which at that time was in a very wild state,’ inhabited by plenty of wild game of various kinds. He took part in the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee Indian Wars, and was also a participant in the War of 1812. He was married in Tennessee to Miss Williams, who bore him three children: Dilla, Louie and Sallie, and after the death of his first wife he again married in Tennessee, his second wife bearing him eight children: Mariah, Peggie, Elizabeth, Charles (the subject of this sketch), Alexander, Caroline, Mary and one who died in infancy. The mother died in Morgan County, Indiana, in 1836, her birth having occurred in Tennessee, she being a member of a prominent old family of that State by the name of Caldwell. The father’s third marriage was to a Mrs. Coons, who bore him three children: Melville, Anna and Francis. The last wife is still living, though advanced in years, in Berry County, Missouri.

Charles Galloway, whose name heads this sketch, was born in Knox County, Tennessee, October 5, 1825, a son of Jesse Galloway, mentioned above. He grew to manhood in Barry County, Missouri, and as game was very abundant in those days he became a skillful marksman. When the Mexican War came up he enlisted as a private in Company G, Third Regiment of Missouri Mounted Volunteers, which company was raised in the vicinity of Springfield and was commanded by Capt. Samuel A. Booke. It was sent up the Rio Grande River, and until the war closed was engaged in fighting with the Indians. Mr. Galloway rose to the rank of major, and while fighting with the Apaches was wounded in the foot, from which he yet suffers considerably.

He returned to Springfield after the war ended and arriving on election day he cast his vote for Cass and Butler. He was married in 1849, immediately purchased the old homestead and with his young bride settled down to farming, which ideal country life was broken in upon by the bursting of the war cloud which had so long hovered over the country in 1861. The country round about was at that time infested by bushwhackers, and after a number of cold-blooded murders Charles Galloway, without waiting for authority, organized a company in Stone County (formerly Barry) and tendered his services to Gen. Lyon, at Springfield, who at first ordered the company to remain on home guard duty, but he participated in the Dug Creek fight and returned to Lyon just after the battle of Wilson’s Creek, having scouted for him. He and his men protected the families that had been threatened by bushwhackers and in his vigilance and activity made it rather warm for these desperadoes during 1861-62. His capture was very much desired by the guerrillas and Capt Galloway was in one quite severe engagement with the noted guerrilla chief, Bledsoe, and while the latter lost fifteen men, only one of his own men went down. He afterward made his report to Gen. Lyon and by that brave and gallant chieftian was made a scout and was requested to ascertain where Gen. Price had his forces, and this he succeeded in doing satisfactorily, and also in finding out the size of the force commanded by Price. Although he was out on scouting duty when the battle of Wilson’s Creek began, he heard the firing of the guns eight miles away and hurried back to Gen. Lyon’s assistance and fought bravely all that day. Upon learning that the battle was lost and that Gen. Lyon was killed, he made his way to Stone County and succeeded in organizing a company which he later turned over to Gen. Fremont. He was frequently sent out on scouting expeditions under Col. John M. Richardson, the chief of scouts of Missouri. He was captured with twenty others of his company by 150 Confederates sent out for that purpose, was taken to Keithsville, and was confined in a corn crib for two days and nights, being allowed one meal every twenty-four hours. He was then taken before Judge Bird, and when asked by him if he was willing to join the Southern Army, he replied that he was not, and when in imminent danger of being hung, friends came to his relief and he returned home. Fourteen days before the battle of Pea Ridge he again became a scout, and by gaining timely information saved a large train of supplies from being cut off by the enemy. In 1862 he was made a captain in the First Arkansas Cavalry, and on August 7 was mustered into the service. On September 19 he and others captured the town of Cassville, Missouri, killed fifteen and captured twenty men. On October 18 Capt. Galloway was ordered to Elk Horn and Lovejoy, and while there did much dangerous scouting. December 1 he was sent out with a company of 100 men to break up Ewart’s band of marauders, and found them about fifteen miles north of Fayetteville, Arkansas, where they had a fight, in which Ewarts and one other man were killed and several wounded. Capt. Galloway seemed specially adapted to this line of work, for he was brave, determined, had a thorough knowledge of the country, and when told to do a certain thing was disposed to do it. He gave valuable assistance to the Union cause, and his name will long be remembered by those whom he protected during the times of lawless border warfare. He was in many engagements through Missouri and Arkansas, and on January 4, 1863, with only twenty men, made a dash into Ozark, Arkansas, and when ordered to halt gave his characteristic order to charge, the result being that a number of prisoners were taken, also several horses, and a number of guns, and some stores destroyed. He was also sent to Crawford County to break up the gang of Peter Mankin’s desperadoes, who were supposed to be hiding there, and while en route had a fight with Col. Dorsey near Ozark, in which he had only one man wounded, while he repulsed a large force of the enemy, and killed a number. Near Wilson’s farm, in Crawford County, he learned that the band of desperadoes, numbering thirty men, were just across the Arkansas River, in the canebrake, and he wisely decided it was impracticable to attack them, while Capt. Travis, who was with him, insisted upon doing so, and was killed with several of his men.

After the war he settled at what is now Galloway Station, having purchased the land prior to the close of the war; but the cyclone of 1880 destroyed his house there, and his wife was killed. Their marriage occurred in February, 1849. her maiden name being Susan Carney, a native of Illinois, and daughter of Judge Thomas Carney, who came from Edwards County, ll., to Barry County, Missouri, where he was called from life. To Mr. and Mrs. Galloway eleven children were born, nine of whom are living: Catherine, wife of Richard King, is living in Idaho; Thomas is a farmer in Kansas; Jesse is a resident of Greene County, Missouri; Nathaniel is a resident of Oregon; Charles; Susan J., wife of D. Thompson, is a resident of Greene County; Absalom is a farmer of Kansas; Alexander resides in Greene County; two, George and Sarah, died in infancy, and Andrew Jackson, the youngest, still makes his home with his father. After his house was destroyed and his wife killed, Mr. Galloway bought the farm on which he is residing, and is now living retired from the active duties of life. He was born October 15, 1825, and is therefore now in his sixty-eighth year. He has always been a Democrat politically, and has ever manifested much interest in the political affairs of his section, but has never been a seeker after office. He has long been connected with the Baptist Church, and socially was at one time a Mason. He has been successful as a business man, and his farm of 220 acres is considered one of the most valuable in the county. He has frequently owned much more than this, but finds that his present estate is all he can look after properly. He is a man of sterling principles, of an agreeable and genial disposition, and that he may live to goodly old age is the wish of all who know him.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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